Legal Issues A True Story: Why It Pays to Always Buy Second Hand Software from a Specialist

16. January 2020 – Guus Derckx
A True Story: Why It Pays to Always Buy Second Hand Software from a Specialist

BRA The Software Alliance is an internationally operating interest group of software manufacturers. Their membership roster reads like the industry's Who's Who: Virtually all the software industry's top dogs from A for Adobe to M for Microsoft right through to V for Veritas are represented there. One of the association's premier missions is to identify businesses using incorrectly licensed software and to take legal action against them.

Recently, Pluimers Isolatie, the European building insulation market leader's Dutch affiliate, had a chance to experience for themselves how efficiently the BSA pursues this perfectly legitimate goal. The company had excellent arguments for refuting all the suspicions raised by the BSA quite rapidly, however.

Visiting lawyers

With an eye on cost effectiveness, Pluimers Isolatie decided to let their existing Microsoft Office, Exchange Server, and SQL Server subscriptions with a joint price tag of around €50,000 per annum expire and instead rely on legally compliant pre-owned software licenses from Relicense.

This decision obviously did not remain unnoticed, for on October 21, 2019 Pluimers Isolatie was called on by representatives of a law firm commissioned by the Business Software Alliance. The lawyers presented the surprised company representatives with a letter containing a fine threat amounting to €109,000 for reasons of use of unlicensed software. This, however, failed to cause major concern with Fatih Sonmez, the company's system administrator in charge. He was able to produce a complete record of the licence transfers including invoice documents, which Relicense had handed over as part of the pre-owned software transaction, entirely refuting the allegations and leaving the lawyers sent out by BSA to make their retreat empty handed.

Fatih Sonmez on his part is so reassured in his reliance on pre-owned licenses and working with Relicense trustingly following this incident that he gladly agrees to be named as a reference customer to other companies.

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